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Everyday ReligionAn Archaeology of Protestant Belief and Practice in the Nineteenth Century$
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Kruczek-Aaron Hadley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061085

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061085.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Community Response to Reform’s Alarm

Community Response to Reform’s Alarm

(p.119) 6 Community Response to Reform’s Alarm
Everyday Religion

Hadley Kruczek-Aaron

University Press of Florida

In this chapter the focus shifts from the household to the community in order to examine how Gerrit Smith's neighbors in Smithfield, New York, responded to the effort to reform them. It documents when and how Smith and his supporters shaped the image of the community as a reform utopia that would inspire others in their path toward Christian perfection. Archaeological and documentary evidence complicates this depiction by showing the ways residents disagreed with Smith's tactics and/or asserted their own reform ideas and expectations for “true” Christian behavior. These struggles, which related to temperance, anti-sectarianism, and abolition, revealed what was structuring the ways people engaged religious belief at the community level. By presenting the ideal image and then complicating it through a critical reading of other sources pertaining to the question of community response, this chapter and the previous one parallel each other in terms of both content and structure.

Keywords:   Gerrit Smith, Smithfield, New York, Christian behavior, temperance, anti-sectarianism, abolition

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